How to Hike the GR5, The Grande Randonnée Cinq (Five), through the Alps.

Translations of Dutch Navigation Terms in GR5 Topoguides

By David May

Copyright 2004 - 2017, All rights Reserved
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Table of Contents Links:

General Information:

1. Why the GR5 and GR52?


Who should use this site?

Other Long Distance Alpine Hikes

About the author

2. The Entire GR5, from the North Sea to the Mediterranean (three months) (only summarily described here).

Page describing the Guidebooks and Internet resources for the GR5 from Holland to the Alps.

The Alpine Crossing, from Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) to either Nice or Menton on the Mediterranean. Nice is a 4 weeks walk from Lake Geneva, Menton, almost 5 weeks. I recommend the walk to Menton over the GR 52 variant, if you can possibly find the time.

Types of trekkers - "purists" and "easygoers".

Costs and Budget

3. When to Go and When to Walk

Accommodation: Types and Reservations

Planning your Route

Meeting People

4. Trail Identification and Direction Marks


5. Books, Maps, Internet sites, GPS

Page with English translations of French Topoguide navigation terms.

6. Conditioning, hiking speed, rest days

7. Shopping and Communications

8. Top sights attractions:
Lake Geneva Steamer*;
Dent d'Oche**;
Chamonix area*** (a very slight detour; consider allowing three or more sunny days);
Sospel*and Aspremont* ;
Nice** and Menton**.

9. GR5 access points:

Author's Route Recommendations and Tips for the demanding hiker:

10. Starting Points on the South Shore of Lake Geneva: The official St. Gingolph or Thonon-les-Bains, vis-a-vis my preferred starting point of Evian-les-Bains. Advantages and disadvantages. Getting there. Detouring to visit the Dent d'Oche**.

11. Accommodations from La Chapelle-d'Abondance to Chamonix (or Les Houches).

12. Accommodations and route, Chamonix to Briançon.

13. Accommodations and route, Briançon to Larche: My difficult but thrilling back way out of Briançon.

14. From Larche to the Vésubie Valley.

Recommended for the intrepid: Partially off-trail variation in the northern Mercantour Park to beautifully austere and isolated lakes.

Isola 2000 short-cut to the lower GR5 or GR52, possibly saving a day or more and much more interesting terrain than the official GR5 route

15. From the Vésubie Valley to the Mediterranean:

Comparison of the GR5 to Nice vis-a-vis the GR52 to Menton: Two possible endings for your walk.

The GR5.

How to handle the 2,000 meter (6,600 foot) descent from the Valley des Merveilles to Sospel on the GR52.

Don't miss the stupendous GR52 final day from Sospel to the Mediterranean at Menton.

Alphabetical List


If you discern any errors to the translations, please write me at


Note:  "Je" at end of word is a diminutive, that is, it adds the idea of small.
   or modest.
Note:  Many words are the combination of two separate words, for example "bosrand" = bos + rand,
 where in English we would say "forest edge".

a = adjective, adv = adverb, c  = conjunction, n = noun, p = preposition, v = verb


aanhouden continue v
aardeweg earth road n
abdij abbey n
accommodatie accommodations n
achter behind p
achterkant back, backside adv
adv further (down) p
af off p
akker meadow n
asfalt ashfalt n
bankje bench n
bed and breakfast guest room, b&b n
beding circumstance, proviso n
beneden (naar) down (downstairs) adv
betonnen concrete n
bewegwijzering trail marking, waymarking n
bij by p
blau blue a
blijf keep v
blijven stay v
bocht bend n
boerderi farm n
bomen (rij) tree (row) n
bos, bosrand forest, forest edge n
boven, bovenaan above, upwards p
branch on branch onto v
brede broad, wide a
brug bridge n
brug bridge n
buiten (de GR spoor) off the GR trail p
bus bus n
bushalte busstop n
busstation bus station n
clearing clearing n
cross cross v
daar there, over there n
daarna then adv
dadelijk immediately adv
dagettape daily stages (to overnight) n
dalen descend v
dam dam n
dan then, subsequently adv
dan than c
deze this a
dezelfde same a
dijk dike,dam, embankment n
dlangs along v
doodlepende dead end n
door through p
doorlopen moving, walking n
draai turn v
dreef avenue n
driesprong fork (in road) n
een  a a
einde end n
en and c
en tagenover ekaar opposite each other p
even just adv
fietspad bike pathh\ n
follow follow v
ford ford n
ga, ga naar go, go to, go towards v
gaat go v
gaat goes v
gaat door continue v
gebouw building n
geel yellow a
geen no, none a
gehucht hamlet n
gemeenschapshuis communal lodging n
glad slippery a
gracht, fortgraat canal, moat n
gras grass n
grenspaal border pole (nations) n
grind gravel
groen green a
haarspeldbochten in switchbacks a
haaske angle n
halbbestraat partially paved a
handwijzer pointing hand n
hek fence n
hek fence n
heling slope n
helling slope n
hek fence n
het the a
heuvel hill n
heuvelend hilly a
heuverelrug ridge n
hoegelten allow v
hoek angle n
honden dogs n
hoogte height, altitude n
hou keep v
houten wooden a
huis, huisje, huisnr house, house number n
ijzeren iron a
jachthaven marina n
je on end of word: small a
je you pn
jeker small river in Maastricht
kasteel castle n
keien, keienpad stone, stoe path n
kerk church n
kies choose v
klaphek gate n
klif cliff n
klim climb v
komt uit (bij) come out (at) v
kronkelend meandering a
kruin crown, top of n
kruising juction, crossroad n
kruispuntkruisiing intersection n
lagboom barrier n
lage low a
landschap landscape n
langoed manor, estate n
later later adv
linkerkant left hand side n
links left n
linksaf turn left v
loop walk v
lopen, loop walk; walk out v
maar but c
manege stable, riding school n
manierd (Romeins) way (Roman) n
markering trail marking n
mee along, with it p
met with, of p
meter meter n
muur wall n
na after p
naar to p
nadien subsequently adv
neem take v
negeren ignore, disregard v
nemen (een weg) take (a road, etc.) v
niet not adv
nog still, yet adv
north north n
oderneming venture n
omheining fence n
omhoog up, upward adv
onder (weg) under, underneath p
ongeveer approximately a
onverhard unpaved a
onverharde weg minor road, dirt road n
ook de from, from the  p
oosten east n
op on, at p
opnieuw again adv
oranje orange a
overkant other side n
oversteken cross over v
paadje path (smalll) n
paal # location pole # n
parkeerterrein parking lot n
passen pass (verb) v
plaats place n
plein square, plaza n
poortj, poortje port n
purper, violet violet, purple a
rand edge n
rechtdoor, rechtuit straight ahead, straight p
rechts right n
rechtsaf turn right v
rijweg carriage-way n
rood red a
rotonde traffic circle, roundabout n
rots rock n
rotsachtig  (rocky, stone-surfaced) a
rotsstapelmarkering-  pad van Cairn rockpile marking trail n
route route n
ruige rough a
ruim more than adv
samenkomst joining together point n
sandweg dirt road n
schegel shrine n
schietveld shooting range n
schuilplaats shelter n
schuin sideways, diagonally adv
slechte richting don't go this way v
slikken marsh n
sloot, greppel ditch (closed, locked) n
smal narrow, small a
sommige some a
sporen rail tracks n
station, Gare, railroad station  n
steeds keep v
steeds rechtdor continue straight ahead v
steen stone n
steepjes dashes (dashed line on map) n
steken, steek cross v
stervormige star-shaped a
stijgend rising a
straat street n
strook, strookje strip n
stroon stream n
supplies supplies n
talud embankment n
tegel tile n
toegang -- access -- a
tonnel tunnel n
top summit n
tot until p
trail trail n
trap stairs n
treutwilg weeping willow tree n
turn turn v
tussen between, among p
tweede second (#) a
U you pn
uiylopen walk out v
vakkeu valley n
van, van de of, from p
vanaf from p
variantie variation n
veerooster cattle guard (grill) n
veld,   field, pasture n
verboder forbidden a
verder farther, further adv
verderop dan further down than p
verfolgen continue v
verfolgt continuous a
verkeers, verkeerslichten  traffic, traffic light n
verkeerslicht traffic light n
verplaatsbare traversable  a
vertrekt leave v
vijver pond, lake n
vistrap fish ladder n
voet, voetpad foot, trail n
voetganger pedestrian n
vogelkijkhut birdwatching hut n
volgt follow v
voor before, in front of p
voorbi passsed p
voorbij past, beyond p
voorjaar spring n
vootangsweg priority n
wandelboom post marking hiking paths n
waterkering weir n
waterloopje watercourse n
waterval waterfall n
weg road n
weg road n
weide, weiland field,pasture n
wellicht perhaps adv
wenden richting van de pijl turn in direction of arrow v
west west n
wit white a
woonwijk residential area n
Wordt It's x
zand sand n
zee, zeeweg sea, seaway n
zie see v
zuiden south n
zwart black a